Sunday, February 03, 2013

Film: The Last Samurai

After watching this fantastic movie a couple of nights ago, I recalled an old post from my currency spec days (way back in 2006) that linked the idea of an honorable death to trading:


The following quotes from Lord Katsumoto, the warrior-poet in ‘The Last Samurai’, have a certain resonance with my trading life:

KATSUMOTO: A Samurai cannot stand the shame of defeat. I was honoured to cut off his head.

KATSUMOTO: It was a good death. Hirotaro died in battle. He tried to kill the American, and he was defeated. It was Karma.

There is death with honour and death without honour, and there is the shameful death. Like the death of Katsumoto in The Last Samurai, so my end was supposed to be an honourable one. This is not what is transpiring and only I am to blame; there is no one else, only me and my weaknesses. In my trading plan the point of ruin was at 50% of the original equity and if I had stuck to the plan I would have committed Seppuku (self-sacrifice) several months ago. At least then I could have proceeded to get on with my daily life. Instead, I have ignored my well thought-out plan and seem to have chosen the option of further squandering my capital. My grandiose ambitions were unrealistic, I lacked fortitude, and I have let greed blind me from the reality the unfolding reality of capital destruction. As my trading death nears, I am fully aware there is no honour in my actions. It is quite possible that I am beyond an honourable death. 

KATSUMOTO: Taking a man’s life is nothing. You cannot take away his honor. To know life in every breath. Every cup of tea. Every life we take. That is the way of the warrior. …that is Bushido.

It saddens me when I realise how the quest for perfection can extend from trading to all of a person’s actions, from the moment he wakes to the moment he sleeps. It saddens me because I have allowed the weaknesses in my trading to extend and infect other aspects of my life, eroding my motivation for good health, dulling my previous interests, and closing my mind’s eye of to beauty of life.

KATSUMOTO: …man can change his destiny? ALGREN: No. I think a man can only do what he can, until his destiny is revealed.

KATSUMOTO: This is not your battle. You do not have to die here.

If only.

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